Democratic State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush met with voters Friday afternoon at the Durango Public Library. The Steamboat Springs legislator addressed an eager crowd of more than 50 people, all of whom were in sync with her political platform.
Bush announced Thursday that she will challenge U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat in the 2018 congressional race.
“We need a representative who knows how to bring people together, rather than divide them. I’m not in this for my ego. I am here to work for the people,” Bush said.
She said that much of her policy is focused on energy efficiency, renewables and infrastructure.
“Infrastructure is crucial. As many of us know, in many areas in the Western Slope, there is no broadband, and we need it for education and businesses. Agriculture uses the internet more than it ever has,” Bush said.
She stressed the importance of working together and listening to one another to find solutions.
“I look at the evidence and not the ideology of left or right when I vote,” Bush said.
Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District is predominately rural and includes 29 counties over 54,000 square miles.
An outspoken environmentalist, Bush said one of her goals is to protect wildlife, water and public lands.
Many attendees voiced concern about health care, renewable energy, immigration and climate change.
“Climate change is critical to the planet and to our country, but especially critical to our House district. Our lives here depend on snow and snow melt. … This in turn feeds into catastrophic wildfires,” Bush said in response. “It is critical for us to have a policy as soon as we can. Many industrialized countries have adopted a carbon tax in recent years.”
She also addressed women’s rights, calling herself a feminist and acknowledging the struggles women face daily, including harassment and a fight for equal pay in the workplace.
“I am your employee,” she said to the applauding crowd.
Last year, Tipton won re-election by about 15 percentage points in a race against former state senator Gail Schwartz.